It’s hard to see so many equestrians turn a blind eye to the horses they love. I contact leaders in the equestrian industry to solicit support and propagate the message of unwanted horses and responsible ownership. Most times my emails and calls are ignored. I understand I am as unpopular as a telemarketing calling at dinnertime. Yet, I keep calling, emailing and connecting with the Leaders of the Equine World because I know change grows from the top down. If the leaders don’t change, neither will the conditions for unwanted horses.
When I see equine professionals and industry leaders acting in their best interest and not in their horse’s best interest, I send a copy of “Lost Horses” which is a simple guide to inspire people to make a difference. I find the free book is better received than a call from me….
Below are examples of recipients of my book:
A FREE HORSE once trained by a former US Equestrian Team and Olympic rider, currently owned by Johnson and Wales University. The preliminary event horse has worked for the University for 8 years. Now injured, the university and former trainer have no interest in funding a deserving retirement, instead offer the horse for free online.
People have profited from this horse. First, his former trainer sold him for over $30,000 as an preliminary event horse. Next, the university was able to profit for his 8 years of service as a lesson and ‘team’ horse on the Equestrian team. But now he is injured and no longer profitable.
Equine Business Management students pay over $30,000 in tuition at Johnson and Wales. Their tuition includes a Equine Reproduction and Genetics, yet there is no evidence in the curriculum addressing (or introducing) the relevant issue of unwanted horses…
I sent the book to the Olympic rider and the director of the University’s riding program.
This is not the first horse from a College/University Equine Studies program that we have seen at risk. Six Oklahoma State University Equestrian Team horses were found at risk in a holding pen in Texas. I have personally seen horses from other Equine Studies programs at the New Holland auction in Pennsylvania and Cranbury Auction in New Jersey.
UNH, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State have all received copies.
Another recent (and more local) example. I received a call from the local technical high school that offers equine studies in their curriculum. They asked if I would take two of their older horses and ‘find them companion homes.’ The horses were both purchased as 5 years olds and were now in their late twenties. The two horses spent their entire lives working for the school. The director of the barn explained that horses were no longer useful in the program and the school can not afford to pay for retirement. The policy is to sell them to a local dealer, but he thought he would at least do the right thing and call a local rescue first. They were sent a book too.
My point is we may not be able to change the older generation of equestrians, but there is still hope for younger generations. I will continue to pass out copies of LOST HORSES to anyone and everyone who can make a difference.